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Here, at Stokes Tire Service, we repair approximately 15 to 20 tires' every day, six days a week. .
We thought you might want to learn a little about the process and what you get for your money in our store. These days at least half of the vehicles we service are fitted with TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems) sensors, a state of the art system that monitors tire pressure while you are driving. The TPMS system will be on all cars by the year 2009. TPMS informs you the driver, of a loss of air pressure in one of your tires by an illuminating light on your dashboard. However, most systems do not tell you which tire has lost air. To determine this, we rack your vehicle and raise it high in the air to allow us to better visually inspect for nails, screws, and other objects. We get an up close view of your tires this way. If we don't see anything obvious, we then check all the tires for the current air pressures. This is matched against the air pressure sticker usually indicated on the door pillar for the correct factory recommended air pressures.
Very important: Tires not checked by the customer for more than five or six months will all be low enough to trigger the TPMS sensors without ever running over anything at all. Sometimes we may find this to be the only problem. All tires equally low, and all at about the same low pressure points to justify that. Then the tires will be refilled with air and we will send you out there again with the light reset.
Note: TPMS systems are not all the same. Some cars require driving for as much as 15 miles or so for the TPMS light to reset automatically. Others, we can reset in our shop for you with special tools.
If one tire is low, or much lower than the others it will be dunked in a water tank, where we watch for air bubbles under water. If spotted, the tire will be marked with yellow chalk so we can easily re-locate the hole later. The tire is also marked where wheel weights are, and the position of the valve stem, so we can put it back as close as possible before this happened for balance purposes. The tire is now removed from the wheel and further inspected. Again we are looking for other damages that could make your tire not safe to run on, even if the hole could be repaired correctly or not. We look at the sidewall for damage, and the inside liner for damage. This is so important. Then a new chalk mark is made on the inside to pin point the hole up to 1/8 of an inch max. Then we drill out the hole through the tread area to one of two sizes in order to use a 2011 TIA (Tire Industry Association) approved plug patch, using a special abrasive grinder. We remove a very thin top layer or wax like skin from the inner liner, and then we apply special glue made only for tire repairs. We wait until the glue partially dries and pull through the hole a one piece plug patch. Once installed this now has sealed the hole from inside by a patch and the outside by a plug keeping moisture and water out of the steel belt package. Then we reinstall the tire, replace the wheel weights where they were, and reset the air pressure, retest with soapy water to confirm an air tight seal. Then reinstall on the vehicle and set the air pressure on the other three tires. We do all of this for about twenty five to thirty five dollars.
On run flat tires or larger tires on larger diameter wheels we charge a bit more due to extra time involved. This is a much underrated service, which requires about twenty-five to thirty-minutes. This is a smoking deal!
Note: A wheel balance check is a good idea! We have no idea if the tire was balanced right to begin with before we started the repair. Today's low profile tires are not easily manipulated on and off the wheel. A wheel balance check is never a bad idea if you like glass smooth steering wheels.
Tires cannot always be repaired. Non reparable tires are tires that: